Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor in the Central Park Five case that sent five innocent young men to prison for an egregious crime they did not commit, is suing Ava DuVernay, Attica Locke, and Netflix for their award-winning limited series, “When They See Us.”
In her suit, Fairstein claims she was defamed in the 4-part series based on the case.
In the film series, which Defendants have marketed and promoted as a true story, Defendants depict Ms. Fairstein — using her true name — as a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.
Throughout the film series, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed as making statements that she never said, taking actions that she did not take — many of them racist and unethical, if not unlawful — in places that she never was on the days and times depicted.
On a number of occasions, Ms. Fairstein is portrayed using inflammatory language, referring to young men of color as ‘thugs,’ ‘animals’ and ‘bastards,’ that she never used.
Linda Fairstein’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, released a statement to make it very clear that his client’s lawsuit has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the Exonerated 5.
Most glaringly, the film series falsely portrays Ms. Fairstein as in charge of the investigation and prosecution of the case against The Five, including the development of the prosecution’s theory of the case. In truth, and as detailed in the lawsuit, Ms. Fairstein was responsible for neither aspect of the case.
Ms. Fairstein’s legal action is not intended to re-litigate the guilt or innocence of The Five in the attacks on Ms. Meili or the other victims assaulted in Central Park that night.
Netflix wants all of the smoke and they plan to fight Linda just as hard as she fought to convict 5 innocent boys.
Linda Fairstein’s frivolous lawsuit is without merit.
We intend to vigorously defend ‘When They See Us’ and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series.
“When They See Us” was difficult to watch for many reasons. For Linda, it was difficult to SEE herself!